SUNDAY, June 17 (HealthDay News) -- A few simple changes in how people grill outdoors, such as avoiding too much beef or processed meats and not charring foods, can aid in cancer prevention, according to an expert.
"Two aspects of the traditional American cookout, what you grill and how you grill it, can potentially raise cancer risk," Alice Bender, a dietitian with the American Institute for Cancer Research, said in an institute news release. "Diets that feature big portions of red and processed meat have been shown to make colorectal cancer more likely. Evidence that grilling itself is a risk factor is less strong, but it only makes sense to take some easy cancer-protective precautions," she added.
One way to help prevent cancer is to avoid overcooking foods on the grill, Bender said. Charring, she explained, results in the formation of cancer-causing compounds called heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).
Bender offered four other ways to grill more safely:
Bender added that visible fat should be trimmed off meats to avoid high flames or flare-ups, and that any charred portions of meat should also be cut off.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has more about grilling safety.
-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas
SOURCE: American Institute for Cancer Research, news release, June 2012
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